I just love it here. if i can get a job here and not leave id be happy!! im going to miss walking around and seeing beautiful buildings, canals, 1000s of bikes, coffeeshops, hookers, art shops, fluffy clogs, and sex shops... at first i thought amsterdam was a bit overrated, but thats because i was hanging around in the wrong places. as a tourist or a person who doesnt know a city well, its easy to hang out in the touristy places, but amsterdam tourist areas suck because theres nothing dutch about them. the damrak is the worst place in the world in my opinion, shop after shop selling the same shit, its no better than the street stalls by pisa, they just have a better setup. walk along the canals in the jordaan or just a few streets away from the leidseplein and you find independant shops, art galleries with no more than 10 paintings on the walls, bakeries selling pastries and cakes and other delicious looking things that WILL make you fat, and cheese shops which arent marketed at tourists... home decoration shops which are more than just the sleek chic black white and red streamlined designs you find in other places, theyre full of colour and flowers different shapes and designs... the availability of such a huge range of ideas in every facet of your life, clothing, furniture, home decoration, bike decorations allows you to be whoever you wanna be... the mainstream chunk of people tend to follow the "norm" but there is the opportunity to be whatever you want to be, you can walk down the streets of amsterdam and not really get any looks, unless youre wearing or doing something exceptionally outrageous! I love the shopping here... Ive decided that if you have a little bit of money, you can have a GREAT life here. things can be expensive, but if you have the money, you can really never get sick of it here!
Ive just discovered the Nieuwmarkt, which is so nice at night with the "in de waag" cafe (which looks like some kinda little castle) lit up in the middle of the square. the nieuwmarkt area seems to be a little chinatown, the signs are in dutch and chinese, and there are loads of shops and restaurants from just about any country in asia! they have a big oriental supermarket and lots of little ones scattered around. on the actual square, they have tapas bars, bruincafes, regular restaurants and bars, and theyre not that expensive.. i went there wit a friend last night and we had a cheese fondue and a drink for €10. I went to another tapas bar with another friend and we had 4 tapas to share between us and a drink for about €13... then took home a bottle of wine from the AH for €2,10!
I live in Badhoevedorp which is about 12km from central station in amsterdam, and it takes the same amount of time to bike in there as it does on the bus. and its not a hard ride either, its all flat... i love how bike friendly it is here, im going to miss that when i go home. its free and its exercise.. everything is so much closer here so its more often a viable option than in perth, but still, i wish that things were more bike friendly for aussies! you dont have to wait for the bus, you can leave when youre ready! i love biking here :)
I love it how part of the dutch culure seems to be a desire to be comfortable. if its gezellig then youre happy! bruin cafes are dimly lit, with dark couches, dark wood and homely meals, cheap beers and are a totally gezellig place to hang out!
Im totally in love with amsterdam and am happy im still here and have been given the opportunity to see it in another light to how i used to see it...